Hulu Blocking Democrats’ Ads Is No More ‘Censorship’ Than Social Media Removing Harassment
from the it's-just-not,-stop-it dept
What a terrible world it would be if Republicans and Democrats alike start pushing for 1st Amendment-violating demands on websites that they be compelled to carry speech they don’t want to. Over the last few years, we’ve seen mainly Republicans pushing for these kinds of “must carry” / “can’t moderate” rules in response to what they (without any actual evidence) believe is anti-conservative bias in moderation. The end result were some blatantly unconstitutional laws that have been mostly… ruled unconstitutional.
For a while, it looked like Democrats were focused on the other end of the unconstitutional 1st Amendment spectrum, proposing ridiculous bills that would require websites to remove content deemed “misinformation.”
Of course, the reality is that both parties are pretty hypocritical on this. And both seem to live by the rule that most people use to govern their thoughts on content moderation: “websites should keep up the content I like, but websites must take down the content I dislike — and anything else is obviously a problem.”
Republicans, of course, have done this flip flop plenty. While pretending to want to require social media to host content, they’ve also pushed bills requiring certain content be removed at the same time.
And now, Democrats seem to be suffering from the same kind of hypocrisy. Despite spending the past few years demanding websites become more aggressive in taking down content, as soon as its content the Democrats like, they’re sounding like their counterparts from across the aisle whining about “censorship.”
On July 15th, a group of Democratic campaign organizations attempted to purchase a joint ad on abortion and gun control on the Disney-backed Hulu platform along with other digital buys on Facebook, YouTube, and Roku and more traditional placements on broadcast and cable channels. The ad ran on every other platform, but Hulu rejected it. Hulu hasn’t told the groups if it will run the ad, a Democratic party official told The Verge.
In a joint statement on Hulu’s rejection on Monday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Democratic Governors Association said, “Hulu’s censorship of the truth is outrageous, offensive, and another step down a dangerous path for our country.”
Oh, come on. It’s not censorship. It’s just Hulu deciding that it didn’t want certain political hot button issues on its platform right now. Censorship is the state telling websites what content they must take down — something many members of the three committees who put out this statement have done quite a lot of over the past few years.
You can argue for why the decision was a mistake, but to call it “censorship” is just wrong, and plays into the nonsense being spread by Republicans that private companies must be required to host whatever nonsense they want to post.
That’s not how it works. Hulu doesn’t want your ads. Go post them somewhere else and move on.
Filed Under: censorship, content mdoeration, democratic congressional campaign committee, democratic governors association, democratic senatorial campaign committee, democrats, grandstanding, political ads